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TORONTO, ON – Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Windsor Boys Racing’s Moonlit Promise put forth a glowing effort Sunday to successfully defend her title in the Grade 2, $175,000 Bessarabian Stakes at Woodbine.
Breaking from post 12 under Eurico Da Silva as the 7/2 favorite, Moonlit Promise settled in midpack while Kasuga posted opening fractions of :22.47 and :44.59. Running as much as five-wide through the far turn, Moonlit Promise propelled herself strongly down the stretch once she straightened for home. Making a strong bid with a furlong remaining, the Josie Carroll trainee cleared off late to win by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:22.28 for the 7-furlong sprint over the fast all weather track.
“It’s so much easier in life when you have a good post,” Da Silva said. “I was just watching the speed and I don’t need to worry. In my heart, she was the best horse and I was not even concerned to go a little bit outside. I wanted to make sure she had a very clean trip. She’s so nice and she runs so hard.”
Silent Sonet led for a brief moment early in the stretch but was unable to hold off the eventual winner and landed in second, 1 3/4 lengths past Let It Ride Mom. Jessica Krupnick headed Ladies Night for fourth, while Red Cabernet headed My Miss Tapit for sixth. Mexican Hat finished ahead of Alnilah, who necked out ninth over Sugar Jones. Completing the order of finish came Red Explosion, a spent Kasuga, and Code Warrior. Both Malibu Bonnie and Monte Crista were scratched.
Moonlit Promise’s win was her second of the year and improved her overall record to 18-8-3-2. The 5-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, whose last non-stakes start came in her third career race on July 8, 2016, has now earned $507,462.
“She had a bit of a tough year,” Carroll said. “Of her last five starts, she had the one-hole four times. She’s a filly that doesn’t really want to run inside, so it was a really tough year for her. To see her get a decent draw where she could show what she could really do was pretty exciting.”
Moonlit Promise returned $9.60 to win, $5 to place, and $4.10 to show. Silent Sonet brought back $7.80 to place and $5.50 to show, while Let It Ride Mom paid $4 to show.
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